For those jostling for position in the crowded fields of hardcore, metal and the intersectional …
DARKCELL w/ Virtues, Sarah Joh, For The Wolves & Torizon
Saturday 18 May, 2019
After three weeks of touring down the East Coast, DARKCELL wrapped up the Darkcell Album Launch tour in their hometown of Brisbane on Saturday night—arguably saving the best for last.
Walking the streets of Fortitude Valley into Brisbane’s Crowbar, there was already a vibe of excitement amongst the few dozen patrons who filled the downstairs area as doors opened.
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A last minute opener line-up change didn’t seem to have too many people phased, with Brisbane local rock band Torizon taking place of the previously booked Serene due to an injury. Torizon made it known early on in the set exactly why they deserved the slot; bringing huge energy to the patrons who responded positively to everything they were providing. In just a short 20 minute set, Torizon had set an exciting pace for the rest of the evening, pulling in the interest of bar bystanders and corner gremlins with powerful vocals and well-tuned instrumental.
By the time second support band For The Wolves took the stage, the crowd had increased in size and an exciting buzz could be felt like electricity. The set opened hard, heavy drum and reigning guitar pulling even more people to the stage area in anticipation. From the first song For The Wolves were receiving screams of applause, with even an ‘I love you’ shouted out from a fan which vocalist Brad Andrew responded to without missing a beat. Although their stage performance felt a little stagnant at some points, this is definitely a band to watch as they continue to make headway on their live performance.
The third group in a heavily packed support line-up was Gold Coast locals Sarah Joh. With a staggered stage entrance that had the floor rumbling with heavy guitar, there was a bit of a surprise felt among the crowd when the vocals that accompanied took a slower pace than that of the two earlier bands. While there was appreciation in the form of applause of ‘wooh’s after each song, the set served more as a breather opportunity for those who had been moving non-stop since the venue doors opened.
But when Virtues took the stage, that breather became the saviour of the night. There was nothing but non-stop power, energy and movement when those first heavy-hitting notes rang out across the room. By now the venue had taken in many more music enthusiast, and Virtues pulled out every trick in the book to draw them in and leave them with only a good taste in their mouth. The smaller stage couldn’t contain vocalist Wade Felsch who regularly stood on top of the speakers at the front, moving, pointing and drawing in a crowd that fed off his energy and reciprocated in the same way. The first pit of the night formed as we were taken from hardcore breakdowns to slow-building guitar riffs in seconds.
The energy was back up, people were moving back and forth between the merch tent and the stage, eagerly awaiting the main event of the night – DARKCELL. From the second that these headliners took the stage, our breath was taken away by the, figurative, boot up the ass to get groovin’ and movin’. The hypnotic intro from Darkcell rang out across the venue, people moved in closer knowing that something big was coming. And big it was. As the intro faded out, fan favourite The Great Big Nothing began in spectacular fashion. It was go go go from the second the song began, and if you didn’t take front-man Jesse Dracman’s advice in our previous interview and stretch, you were definitely feeling it the next day.
As DARKCELL moved through the tracks of their latest album, there was nothing but hometown love for the guys on stage. As the set progressed, Dracman bowed down to the crowd and continuously thanked those who had supported the band through it all. A true give-and-receive relationship between band and fan, the smiles of everyone in the room couldn’t be wiped off their faces. Even more-so with the inclusion of earlier DARKCELL bangers like Six Hundred & Six Six and FTW that received roars of applause and sing-alongs from those who had been there from the beginning.
As the 50 minute set came to a close, DARKCELL concluded the show with a tribute to their freaks in Hail To The Freaks and a well-timed reminder about religious force-feeding in the final song Preacher. Surveying the room, not one person was standing still, including the bar staff who seemed to be enjoying it just as much as everyone else. DARKCELL have always promised a fun-filled, groovin’ doomin’ live show and as their fans filled all corners of the venue, applauding and enjoying, there was no doubt that they had delivered. HAIL!